After being less than blown away by the last issue of Warlord of Mars, I wasn’t exactly thrilled to read another a scant three weeks later. Fortunately, I enjoyed issue 19 quite a bit more, although it still has some kink to work out. Here’s the official description from Dynamite:
John Carter has freed Mars from Issus, the false and now thoroughly dead goddess who once ruled the entire planet. In doing so he lost his one true love, the princess Dejah Thoris, but there’s no time to mope–renegade priests of Issus have activated a doomsday device that will destroy Mars’s fragile atmosphere, unless Carter can figure out a way to shut it down. He and his son, Carthoris, have no choice but to turn to the people they most despise, the Holy Therns. Carthoris catches the eye of a beautiful thern princess, but what will his father think?
Arvid Nelson‘s story flows much more smoothly this time around. John Carter’s son Carthoris plays the central role this issue. John remains active in events, but is largely preoccupied by the possible loss of Dejah Thoris. Most of what happens this issue -the activation of the doomsday device; Carthoris’ reactions to Linea, the thern princess; and the final twist at the end- is predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Martino Stefano‘s pencils are much simpler that those of Edgar Salazar, who contributed the art last issue. In this case, though, the simplicity makes the book more readable. Stefano also does a great job on the facial expressions, particularly those of Carthoris, but occasionally takes them too far. Kyle Ritter‘s colors are plenty vivid, but fail to mesmerize the way Marcelo Pinto‘s did.
Thanks to better flow and a lack of confusing airship battles, Warlord of Mars steps it up this month. A word of warning though: Dejah Thoris isn’t seen this issue (except on the cover), and the new purple princess just can compete.